Jeremiah 30-31The Message (MSG)
Don’t Despair, Israel
30 1-2 This is the Message Jeremiah received from God: “God’s Message, the God of Israel: ‘Write everything I tell you in a book.
3 “‘Look. The time is coming when I will turn everything around for my people, both Israel and Judah. I, God, say so. I’ll bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors, and they’ll take up ownership again.’”
4 This is the way God put it to Israel and Judah:
5-7 “God’s Message:
“‘Cries of panic are being heard.
8-9 “‘And then I’ll enter the darkness.
10-11 “‘So fear no more, Jacob, dear servant.
12-15 “This is God’s Message:
“‘You’re a burned-out case,
16-17 “‘Everyone who hurt you will be hurt;
18-21 “Again, God’s Message:
“‘I’ll turn things around for Jacob.
22 “‘And that’s it: You’ll be my very own people,
23-24 Look out! God’s hurricane is let loose,
31 “And when that happens”—God’s Decree—
2-6 This is the way God put it:
“They found grace out in the desert,
7 Oh yes, God says so:
“Shout for joy at the top of your lungs for Jacob!
8 “Watch what comes next:
“I’ll bring my people back
9 “Watch them come! They’ll come weeping for joy
10-14 “Hear this, nations! God’s Message!
15-17 Again, God’s Message:
“Listen to this! Laments coming out of Ramah,
18-19 “I’ve heard the contrition of Ephraim.
20 “Oh! Ephraim is my dear, dear son,
21-22 “Set up signposts to mark your trip home.
23-24 A Message from Israel’s God-of-the-Angel-Armies: “When I’ve turned everything around and brought my people back, the old expressions will be heard on the streets: ‘God bless you!’ . . . ‘O True Home!’ . . . ‘O Holy Mountain!’ All Judah’s people, whether in town or country, will get along just fine with each other.
25 I’ll refresh tired bodies;
26 Just then I woke up and looked around—what a pleasant and satisfying sleep!
27-28 “Be ready. The time’s coming”—God’s Decree—“when I will plant people and animals in Israel and Judah, just as a farmer plants seed. And in the same way that earlier I relentlessly pulled up and tore down, took apart and demolished, so now I am sticking with them as they start over, building and planting.
29 “When that time comes you won’t hear the old proverb anymore,
Parents ate the green apples,
30 “No, each person will pay for his own sin. You eat green apples, you’re the one who gets sick.
31-32 “That’s right. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won’t be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I did my part as their Master.” God’s Decree.
33-34 “This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” God’s Decree.
If This Ordered Cosmos Ever Fell to Pieces
35 God’s Message, from the God who lights up the day with sun and
36 “If this ordered cosmos ever fell to pieces,
37 God’s Message:
“If the skies could be measured with a yardstick
38-40 “The time is coming”—it’s God’s Decree—“when God’s city will be rebuilt, rebuilt all the way from the Citadel of Hanamel to the Corner Gate. The master plan will extend west to Gareb Hill and then around to Goath. The whole valley to the south where incinerated corpses are dumped—a death valley if there ever was one!—and all the terraced fields out to the Brook Kidron on the east as far north as the Horse Gate will be consecrated to me as a holy place.
“This city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
PhilemonThe Message (MSG)
1-3 I, Paul, am a prisoner for the sake of Christ, here with my brother Timothy. I write this letter to you, Philemon, my good friend and companion in this work—also to our sister Apphia, to Archippus, a real trooper, and to the church that meets in your house. God’s best to you! Christ’s blessings on you!
4-7 Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers.
To Call the Slave Your Friend
8-9 In line with all this I have a favor to ask of you. As Christ’s ambassador and now a prisoner for him, I wouldn’t hesitate to command this if I thought it necessary, but I’d rather make it a personal request.
10-14 While here in jail, I’ve fathered a child, so to speak. And here he is, hand-carrying this letter—Onesimus! He was useless to you before; now he’s useful to both of us. I’m sending him back to you, but it feels like I’m cutting off my right arm in doing so. I wanted in the worst way to keep him here as your stand-in to help out while I’m in jail for the Message. But I didn’t want to do anything behind your back, make you do a good deed that you hadn’t willingly agreed to.
15-16 Maybe it’s all for the best that you lost him for a while. You’re getting him back now for good—and no mere slave this time, but a true Christian brother! That’s what he was to me—he’ll be even more than that to you.
17-20 So if you still consider me a comrade-in-arms, welcome him back as you would me. If he damaged anything or owes you anything, chalk it up to my account. This is my personal signature—Paul—and I stand behind it. (I don’t need to remind you, do I, that you owe your very life to me?) Do me this big favor, friend. You’ll be doing it for Christ, but it will also do my heart good.
21-22 I know you well enough to know you will. You’ll probably go far beyond what I’ve written. And by the way, get a room ready for me. Because of your prayers, I fully expect to be your guest again.
23-25 Epaphras, my cellmate in the cause of Christ, says hello. Also my coworkers Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. All the best to you from the Master, Jesus Christ!